Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 39 - Boys From Uruguay And A Columbian

Arequipa is a refreshing town. Historically, it fearlessly exerted its independent nature by creating its own flag. The founding of Arequipa will be celebrated tomorrow, coinciding with India's independence, Napoleon's birth, Ben Affleck's entry into the world...and my birthday. I wanted to spend more time in this city, but we only had today.

In preparation for the big day tomorrow, the Arequipan plaza was corded off to incoming traffic. Sweepers were swishing dust off the streets while technicians set up speakers for the patriotic music that played throughout the morning. Soon enough, parades of musicians and uniformed schoolchildren were marching around the plaza, baton-twirling youngsters following behind them. The culture of the city was such that despite the colonial-type buildings and an European feel, tourists were seldom seen. In fact, it was mostly locals who populated the plaza. When we strolled through the artesian markets and museums, I spotted a few foreigners. Maybe the founding day celebrations had something to do with the Peruanified plaza.

Our bus to Lima wasn't until 6:30 in the evening, so the afternoon was spent hopping from one ice-cream hub to another. In between desserts, we went back to the plaza and befriended two brothers from Uruguay and their Columbian friend, Astro. They were musicians, which is what caught my attention in the first place. The younger brother, Miguel, played the guitar. His older brother, Coco, played the saxophone and a keyboard powered by a plastic pipe he blew into. It was an interesting instrument, almost like a mouth organ and accordian in one. As they played the girl, Astro, walked to the quickly collecting crowd, asking for tips that clinked into a straw hat. They performed a few crowd-pleasing tunes before a policeman asked them to take their entertainment elsewhere. We chatted with them during dinner, exchanging earphones to listen to Uruguayan music while they heard Zakir Hussain and Ravi Shankar on Nikhil's Ipod. It was soon time for us to catch our bus. Despite the short time spent with them, I had enjoyed their company. At our goodbyes, Astro gifted me a pair of earrings. I wore them, feeling awfully girly.

The bus ride to Lima was an overnighter, and I kept myself occupied by gluing my eyes to the television screen. I saw an adrenaline-packed Crank, followed by a more mellow yet still dramatic Inside Man. The best part about Spanish dubbing is if you don't understand the language, it's easy to make up parts of the storyline as you watch. Hence, my version of the two films is probably not what IMDB has to say.

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